Transport in Melbourne just doesn’t cut it for one repatriated Australian, who was compelled to pen a love letter to Transport for London, noting its “caring reminders” and his longing to hear the word “alight”.
James Schloeffel has sent London transport bosses their first ever love letter after moving back to his native country having spent two years in the capital working for a travel company.
The letter, entitled ‘I miss you TFL’, celebrated the oddities and eccentricities of London’s transport system.
He said: “It occurred to me that all that ‘‘chatter’’: the reminders, notices, updates and apologies – which Londoners probably take for granted – is a very British thing. I missed that Britishness and I wanted to write about it.”
Schloeffel, a freelance writer, even compared Transport for London to a “mother” – albeit “an annoying, monotonous, nagging mother at times”.
He wrote: “I miss hearing that, apart from planned engineering works on the Central, Circle, District, Piccadilly, Hammersmith & City, Bakerloo, Victoria and Jubilee lines, there is a good service on all London Underground lines. I miss being told to alight here for Buckingham Palace. I miss the word alight.”
The 31-year-old added: “I miss your constant chatter, your caring reminders, your statements of the bleeding obvious. I miss being told, incessantly, to let passengers off the train before boarding. I miss being made aware, again and again, of the gap between the train and the platform.”
The bereft tourist also said Melbourne’s transport system was “sub-standard” and admitted he “longed for the Tube”.
He wrote: “Now, living in Melbourne, I’m lost and lonely.
“The public transport system here has none of the chatter, not a bit of the personality, none of the comforting reminders and the signage is rubbish.”